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Sudan international partners call for swift agreement on constitutional declaration

U.S. & Western diplomats discuss support to a civilian led govt in Sudan on 17 May 2019 (US Dept photo)
July 23, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s international partners have called to expedite the signing of the constitutional declaration and to launch the civilian-led government that will implement political and economic reforms during the three-year transitional period.

The European Union-chaired meeting was hosted for the first time at the EU headquarters in Brussels. Also, the State of Qatar attended the meeting for the first time.

The third meeting of its kind was attended by the African Union, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union, France, Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, United Nations, and the United States. Also, took part in the meeting representatives of the key international financial institutions.

In a statement released on Monday evening, the European Union External Action Service said the meeting discussed the ongoing efforts to support a peaceful resolution to Sudan’s challenges after the fall of the regime of former President Omer al-Bashir.

"They remain committed to supporting a civilian-led transition and look forward to the swift establishment of transitional authorities with clear and transparent responsibilities as well as a genuine ability to deliver on the aspirations of the Sudanese people for peace, stability and economic recovery," said the statement.

The participants further welcomed the signing of the political agreement between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) describing it as a positive step.

"Partners underlined the importance for the parties to sign promptly the expected constitutional declaration and to begin its enormous task of delivering on the needed political and economic reforms," further added the statement.

Talks on the constitutional declaration are delayed by consultation meeting in Addis Ababa between the political and armed groups of the opposition coalition. The armed groups demand to have a share in the organs of the transitional authority but the political reject the idea.

However, opposition sources in Khartoum say talks may resume by the end of the week even if a deal was not struck between the opposition groups.

The idea of international partners was launched by the U.S. State Department in a meeting held in Washington on 17 May one month after regime change in Sudan. The second meeting was held in Berlin on 22 June.

Berlin meeting is the second meeting of Sudan’s international partners after a first one held in Washington on 17 May.

Qatar’s foreign ministry issued a statement to announce its participation for the first time in a meeting of the forum of Sudan international partners. Doha was represented by Mutlaq Al Qahtani the Qatari Special Envoy for Combating Terrorism and Conflict Resolution.

The tiny Gulf state vies with regional rivals (Saudi Arabia and UAE) for influence in Sudan. Doha has important economic investments in Sudan and can contribute to providing the needed funds to the recovery program the international community plans to implement in Sudan.

Brussels’ meeting reiterated that the formation of a civilian-led government and the principle of progress on commitments agreed by the Sudanese parties remain essential in facilitating the provision of economic and technical support to Sudan.

The group also shared a common commitment to follow a coordinated approach in order to ensure effective and transparent support to the transition as well as full accountability towards the Sudanese population, said the statement.

(ST)